2012 HB Awesome Awards! (PART ONE)

It’s time for the big reveal! Here are the first chunk of results to our 2012 HB Awesome Awards, as voted by my students.

The book awards got their name based on several student suggestions. Almost all the awards start with the word “Best,” so some wanted to call them the B Awards. The H comes from my last name, Houghton, and AWESOME has kind of been our word for the year — as a class, it seems to be the best word we can find when something is really interesting/great/cool.

Best Squish Book

#3 Squish 1: Super Amoeba; #2 Squish 2: Brave New Pond; AND #1……

Best Book that’s Mostly Sadness

#3 Wonderstruck; #2 Never Forgotten; AND #1…..

Best Read Aloud

#3 TIE between Robot Zombie Frankenstein and Wonderstruck; #2 The One and Only Ivan; AND #1……..

Best Nonfiction Book

#3 An American Plague; #2 Here Come the Girl Scouts; AND #1……

Best Fiction Book

#3 Alvin Ho; #2 Squish; AND #1………………..

Best Poetry Book / Book in Verse

#3 Love That Dog; and A TWO-WAY TIE FOR FIRST PLACE…..

Best Graphic Novel

#3 Smile; #2 Squish; AND #1…………..

Best Series

#3 Alvin Ho; #2 Diary of a Wimpy Kid; AND #1……………….

Best Historical Fiction

#3 The One and Only Ivan; #2 Dead End in Norvelt; AND #1……………

Best Picture Book

#3 THREE-WAY TIE between Boy + Bot, Vote for Me, and People; #2 The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man; AND #1………..

Best Chapter Book

#3 The One and Only Ivan; #2 Alvin Ho; AND #1………………

More awards will be revealed later today and tomorrow! Thank you so much for all your support and for the great reading memories.

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Thanks as always to TeachMentorTexts for hosting this! It’s my first time participating FOR REALSIES.

I’ve been mentally busy this week. My mind is racing and it’s really hard to stay focused on school stuff. So here’s what I’ve been reading. Each image links to my GoodReads review.

Picture Books

Magritte's Marvelous Hat: A Picture Book CoverHow Many Jelly Beans? CoverThe Extraordinary Mark Twain (According to Susy) CoverMonday Is One Day CoverImogene's Last Stand CoverSadie and Ratz Cover

Middle Grade/YA Novels

See You at Harry's Cover

I need to read the Colby/Jen discussion of the book — I’d been waiting to finish reading it first… Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

Grown-Up Books

Classroom Discussions: Using Math Talk To Help Students Learn, Grades K-6 (2ND 09 Edition) CoverTraveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith Cover

I’m in the middle of reading The Hobbit with my husband, and my class and I are right at the GOOD part of The Mysterious Howling, so I hope to finish those this week. ALSO, I got my copy of Squish 3 when I met Jenni Holm yesterdayyyyy, so I need to read that too!

The Hobbit: Or There and Back Again CoverIncorrigible Children of Ashton Place #01: The Mysterious Howling CoverSquish #03: Squish #3: The Power of the Parasite Cover

It seems like more and more publishers are releasing their new books right to OverDrive, the Seattle Public Library’s eBook service, and I’ve been able to snag some new titles faster than I would if I placed a regular hold. Here’s my partial bookshelf:

#Bookstack, of sorts, featuring @KateMessner, Candace Fleming, etc.

But some titles I apparently need to still see in person, as Mr. Schu mentioned on my review of How Many Jelly Beans?.

This weekend, I also updated my NetGalley account, so I have a bunch of goodies there that I’m saving for my travels to Michigan this Thursday night. Yessss.

All images are from the best bookstore on the planet, Powell’s.

Day by Day: Assessment Cycle 3, Day 10

To see a complete list of the reflection activities and for an explanation of the program, visit my Day By Day Main Page.

Conferring Cycle 3: Standardized Tests

Day 10: Give kids a boost of spirit

Challenge: Talk with your grade-level colleagues or your principal to determine how you will celebrate with your students before and after the testing window.

If you chose to throw a pep rally, take some time to write down what made it successful. Did students leave knowing they would be able to do well on the test?

How did you get positive messages across to your students?

How did the after-party in your classroom allow you to show your appreciation for your students’ hard work on the test?

Day by Day: Assessment Cycle 3, Day 9

To see a complete list of the reflection activities and for an explanation of the program, visit my Day By Day Main Page.

Conferring Cycle 3: Standardized Tests

Day 9: Proofreading

Challenge: Show your students a few pieces of writing, with various commands of Standard English, and have them discuss how they can be edited and improved so they’re easier to read. Then teach your students how to proofread their own written responses.

Is it easier for your students to find their mistakes or someone else’s?

Why do you think this is?

How will you help your students remember to proofread their writing before they close their test booklets?

Day by Day: Assessment Cycle 3, Day 8

To see a complete list of the reflection activities and for an explanation of the program, visit my Day By Day Main Page.

Conferring Cycle 3: Standardized Tests

Day 8: Keep writing!

Challenge: Generate a list with your students of ways to keep writing during a writing prompt. Prod them to consider ways to elaborate when writing narrative as well as nonnarrative genres.

What is the primary reason your students seem to run out of steam when writing a practice prompt?

How will you empower students to write their best first draft?

Day by Day: Assessment Cycle 3, Day 7

To see a complete list of the reflection activities and for an explanation of the program, visit my Day By Day Main Page.

Conferring Cycle 3: Standardized Tests

Day 7: Think, organize, and respond

Challenge: Schedule time to teach your students a variety of ways to organize their thinking before they attempt a writing task. Be sure to talk with each student to ensure the student has an organizational process that works before test day arrives.

Which type of organizational device seemed to work best for the majority of your class?

Which type of organizational device do you gravitate toward?

Do your students have similar preferences?

Day by Day: Assessment Cycle 3, Day 6

To see a complete list of the reflection activities and for an explanation of the program, visit my Day By Day Main Page.

Conferring Cycle 3: Standardized Tests

Day 6: Two Audiences

Challenge: Plan to help students visualize the person who will read their writing prompt. Ask them to conjure up an image, complete with speech or thought bubbles, and then to share the image with others.

How does audience influence your own writing?

How will you help your students understand they are writing for two audiences during a standardized test?

Day by Day: Assessment Cycle 3, Day 5

To see a complete list of the reflection activities and for an explanation of the program, visit my Day By Day Main Page.

Conferring Cycle 3: Standardized Tests

Day 5: How do I know what to write?

Challenge: Plan to help your students develop the skills necessary to understand the task in a writing prompt. Gather several prompts to give students practice with identifying the key parts of a prompt so they are comfortable making decisions as writers when faced with the actual test prompt.

What part of understanding the task is most difficult for your students when faced with a writing prompt?

How will you help your students develop a full understanding of the task presented to them in a writing prompt?

Day by Day: Assessment Cycle 3, Day 4

To see a complete list of the reflection activities and for an explanation of the program, visit my Day By Day Main Page.

Conferring Cycle 3: Standardized Tests

Day 4: Understanding the rubric

Challenge: Look at the exemplar responses for your state’s writing prompt assessment. Notice the imperfect nature of many of the top scores. When students are assessed on their response to a writing prompt, perfection isn’t expected. Develop an understanding of the expectations for your students on a standardized test.

How will you increase your understanding of your state’s assessment practices for the writing prompt?

What will you do to protect your students’ confidence when they receive their scores from the state test?

Day by Day: Assessment Cycle 3, Day 3

To see a complete list of the reflection activities and for an explanation of the program, visit my Day By Day Main Page.

Conferring Cycle 3: Standardized Tests

Day 3: Take time for authentic writing experiences

Challenge: Decide what works better for your classroom: independent writing projects or a consistent ten to fifteen minutes each day for the children to write. Then read Cruz’s book (2004) or Graves and Kittle’s book (2005) to help you flesh out how you’ll implement this in your classroom.

Did you decide to work with your students to undertake independent writing projects?

If so, how will you carry these out?

Will you provide your students with guidance outside of the regular school day?

What kinds of pressures or stress do you feel with regard to the upcoming state tests?

Record a list of emotions and then write, in detail, about each emotion you’re feeling.